Chapter

The Lumber Region as Pennsylvania's Appalachia

Robert M. Sandow

in Deserter Country

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230518
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240845 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823230518.003.0002

Series: The North's Civil War

The Lumber Region as Pennsylvania's Appalachia

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In 1846, the prolific German travel writer Franz Von Loher observed how the Pennsylvania wilderness had shaped the character of mountain dwellers. The forest enveloped Von Loher and he began to see his journey as one of time as well as space. Life in the wilderness seemed to trigger a reversion of cultural progress. “The longer in the forest, the further from European civilization.” Throughout history, humans and their environment have been locked in an intimate embrace, making it essential to understand the significance of place in human affairs. In the mountains of Pennsylvania, the environment helped shape distinct social, political, and economic tensions that provided a fertile ground for Civil War opposition. Even during the war, Republican officials echoed popular stereotypes, allowing these perceptions to influence policy-making. Many mountain folk contributed to these stereotypes by embracing the rugged ideal.

Keywords: Franz Von Loher; Pennsylvania; cultural progress; European civilization; Civil War; policy-making; mountain folk

Chapter.  6022 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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